Reception in Support of the Brisbane Pride Choir’s 25th Anniversary
Federal Member for Brisbane, Mr Stephen Bates MP; Councillor for Central Ward, Councillor Vicki Howard; Brisbane Pride Choir President, Ms Kelly Houston; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen.
I begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the lands around Brisbane, the Turrbal and Jagera people, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people here today.
As Joint Patron of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra together with my husband Graeme, I was delighted to be asked by Mr Tim Matthies, QSO’s Director of Artistic Planning, to host a reception here for the 25th anniversary of the Brisbane Pride Choir.
Firstly, thank you for lending your voices to a community that for too long went unheard, and for championing much-needed social change.
Over the past 25 years, the Pride Choir has helped to foster a community that is more open, more supportive, and more inclusive.
You have performed far and wide, in Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Hobart, Canberra – as well as in the USA and Ireland.
And you have brought together more than 50 singers, from a range of different backgrounds, who have learnt how to harmonise.
It’s a powerful analogy for a group such as yours, which seeks to promote diversity, inclusivity and tolerance.
From its first performance in 1998, the Pride Choir has grown from strength-to-strength.
This is in no small part due to the strong leadership of Musical Directors such as Marina Aboody Thacker, Timothy Smetham and current Director, Elliot Rentoul.
And of course, it’s thanks to the hundreds of people who have performed with the choir over the years.
Together, you have built a body of work and ensured that your voices, and by extension the voices of the LGBTIQA-plus community, are heard, and duly admired!
As Governor of Queensland, I am honoured to support you in your efforts to promote harmony wherever and whenever possible.
Happy anniversary, our State is immensely proud of your success, and I cannot wait to hear you sing this afternoon.